Preschool Daily Bilingual Routine
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
To follow up with our last post, I thought I'd share the rest of our morning calendar routine songs. Children learn language skills through music. Because songs have a predictable rhythm and rhyme children often times can learn songs quickly. The tunes also provide opportunities where the language is broken down into sounds and syllables allowing little ones to fine tune their pronunciation of the words. No matter how awful of a singer you think you are, you child loves hearing you sing. Singing together also promotes parent-child interaction and bonding.
Every morning after breakfast time we sit in our play area located in our living room. I use a hanging velcro calendar to talk about our day. Here is how it unfolds:
I begin by singing the Buenos Días and Good Morning songs as we walk over and sit on the carpet. Allowing them time to transition usually from the kitchen to the living room and giving me time to pull down the calendar so they have access to it.
First we talk about the previous day and what we remember doing. Using prompts such as "Ayer fue Lunes, ¿Recuerdas lo que hicimos ayer?" "Yo recuerdo que visitamos la granja, ¿Qué animales viste allí?" We take the previous day off and place it with the rest.
Then we establish the day of the week, saying, "Hoy es ____ lunes; martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sabado, or domingo" Vamos a canter la cancón de los días de la semana." We sing it in Spanish and in English. We choose our day from the list and place it on the mat. From here we sometimes sing "Hoy es.." and/or "Today is.." depending if the kids have the stamina or not. If it were up to me we would sing all the songs on a daily basis but sometimes time or energy just won't allow us.
We go on to change the date. We count up to the date in both Spanish and English.
Lastly, we establish the month and say the entire date such as "Hoy es Martes el 19 de Febrero del 2019." We finish the day routine by singing the month song in Spanish to the tune of "Palo Palo" pointing at each month as it is being sung. If time and energy permit we list the names of the month in English while pointing at each month as we say it.
Both my children love running to our slidding door to see what the weather is like outside. I ask, "Miren afuera. ¿Como esta el clima hoy?" They run to the window and can now identify one of the weather options on our calendar: "Hoy esá soliado." "Hoy hace viento." "Hoy esá nublado." "Hoy está lluviendo." or "Hoy hay neblina." It doesn't snow where we live, but if it did they would answer "Hoy está nevando." Whatever it is that they respond I repeat and have them come find that weather icon on the calendar. As they place the icon in its place, I simply say it in English. "Today is... sunny, windy, foggy, rainy, cloudy." Sometimes they repeat and sometimes they don't. Sometimes, if calendar hasn't been done before they change into their clothes for the day we may have a conversation about what is appropriate to wear in this weather or identify what we are wearing that matches the weather for the day.
Since the season doesn't change on a daily basis, we establish the season we are in by pointing and saying "Todavía estamos en ____ invierno; primavera; verano; or otoño. Hace frío en invierno"
And that, my friends, is how we go about with our daily calendar routine at home. I'd love to hear what you are doing, songs you use, or even if you've found a similar calendar in Spanish that you like to use with your little ones. Please feel free to follow us on Instagram and Facebook and/or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories of raising bilingual kids.